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1340 - King Edward III of England is declared King of France.

1500 - Vicente Yáñez Pinzón becomes the first European to discover Brazil.

1531 - Lisbon, Portugal hit by an earthquake--thousands die.

1564 - The Council of Trent issued its conclusions in the Tridentinum, establishing a distinction between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

1565 - Battle of Talikota, fought between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Islamic sultanates of the Deccan, leads to the subjugation, and eventual destruction of the last Hindu kingdom in India, and the consolidation of Islamic rule over much of the Indian subcontinent.

1589 - Jove (Patriarch Jove) is elected as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

1699 - Treaty of Carlowitz signed.

1700 - The magnitude 9 Cascadia Earthquake took place off the west coast of the North America, as evidenced by Japanese records.

1736 - Stanislaus I of Poland abdicates his throne.

1785 - Benjamin Franklin writes a letter to his daughter expressing disappointment over the selection of the eagle as the symbol of the United States; he wanted the turkey.

1788 - The British First Fleet, led by Arthur Phillip, sail into Sydney Harbour to establish Sydney, the first permanent European settlement on the continent. Celebrated as Australia Day.

1802 - The U.S. Congress passes an act calling for a library to be established within the U.S. Capitol; eventually this becomes the Library of Congress.

1808 - Rum Rebellion, the only successful (but temporary) armed takeover of the government in Australia.


1837 - Michigan is admitted as the 26th U.S. state.

1838 - Tennessee enacts the first prohibition law in the United States

1841 - The United Kingdom formally occupies Hong Kong, which China had ceded.

1861 - The state of Louisiana secedes from the Union.

1863 - American Civil War: General Ambrose Burnside is relieved of command of the Army of the Potomac after the disastrous Fredericksburg campaign. He is replaced by Joseph Hooker.

1863 - American Civil War: Massachusetts Governor receives permission from Secretary of War to raise a militia organization for men of African descent.

1870 - American Civil War: Virginia rejoins the Union.

1885 - Troops loyal to the Mahdi conquer Khartoum.

1887 - Battle of Dogali: Abyssinian troops defeat Italians.

1905 - The Cullinan Diamond is found near Pretoria, South Africa at the Premier Mine.

1911 - Glenn H. Curtiss flies the first successful seaplane.

1920 - Former Ford Motor Co. executive Henry Leland launches The Lincoln Motor Co., which he'd later sell to his former employer.

1930 - The Indian National Congress declares 26 th January as Independence Day or as the day for Poorna Swaraj (Complete Independence)


1934 - The Apollo Theater opens in Harlem, New York City.

1939 - Spanish Civil War: Troops loyal to Francisco Franco and aided by Italy take Barcelona.

1942 - World War II: The first American forces arrive in Europe landing in Northern Ireland.

1946 - Félix Gouin becomes Prime Minister of France.

1950 - India promulgates its constitution forming a republic and Rajendra Prasad is sworn in as its first president.

1961 - John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be his physician. This is the first time a woman holds this appointment.

1962 - Ranger 3 is launched to study the moon. The space probe later missed the moon by 22,000 miles (35,400 km).

1965 - Hindi becomes the official language of India.

1966 - The Beaumont Children go missing from Glenelg Beach in Adelaide, South Australia.

1980 - Israel and Egypt establish diplomatic relations.

1983 - Lotus 1-2-3 is released.

1986 - Halley's Comet is visible in the night sky as it passes in its 76-year orbit around the sun.

1991 - Mohamed Siad Barre is removed in Somalia, ending centralized government

1992 - Boris Yeltsin announces that Russia is going to stop targeting United States cities with nuclear weapons.

1993 - Václav Havel elected President of the Czech Republic.

1998 - Lewinsky scandal: On American television, Bill Clinton denies he had "sexual relations" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

2000 - Robert F. Vasa ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Baker.

2001 - A 50-year-old Douglas DC-3 crashes near Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela killing 24.

2001 - An earthquake hits Gujarat, India, causing more than 20,000 deaths.

2004 - President Hamid Karzai signed the new constitution of Afghanistan.

2005 - Three trains crash , killing 11 and injuring 200 in Glendale, California near Los Angeles.

2005 - Having been confirmed earlier in the day by a vote of 85-13 in the United States Senate, Condoleezza Rice is sworn in as U.S. Secretary of State, becoming the first African American woman to hold the post.

2005 - A helicopter crash in eastern Iraq kills 31 United States soldiers.

2006 - A large fire breaks out on Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

2006 - Western Union discontinues use of its telegram service.


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